Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Bible Study Group

For the past few months I, Steve, have been teaching a Bible Study using the book Loving God.  We really had some good discussions and I enjoyed watching God work in the lives of these people.  Some of them really gained ground spiritually.  This picture was taken on the last day of class.  I gave certificates to the two who never missed a class and also a few rewards for different things.  I hope to start another class in January.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Sunset at Arizona

The farm house we now rent is called "Arizona".  So the picture below is a sunset over a small pond at Arizona.


I want to go back a couple of weeks and share a few pictures of the not so favorite task of moving.  The first thing we moved from our house here in town was our garden!  Yes, that's right. Because we knew we would be moving a bit late in the planting season we decided to go ahead and start our garden in town and then move it when it came time.  We bought a few seedlings and a lot of other plants we started in containers, but a few things like corn and green beans we planted right in the ground and then we transplanted them when it came time to move.  The green beans were really set back by the move, but the corn did very well.  What do you think about our garden on wheels?

We are very thankful for those who came to help us on moving day.  It was a mammoth undertaking.  The house we moved to was about twenty-five minutes out of town on a dirt road and we were not only moving our belongings but also many of my brother's things, and the belongings of another missionary who is in the States right now.  Thankfully not all those things went out to our new rental but to another house here in town.  So in reality we basically moved three households.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Farm House

Here is a picture of the house we are now renting.  We are thankful that God has provided it for us.  We are now paying less then 1/4 of the rent we were paying in town.  Of course there is the extra cost of driving back and forth from town, but in the end I think this place will be better in a lot of ways. 

Monday, November 9, 2009

Mulberry Jam

Anyone ever make or eat mulberry jam?  We have a mulberry tree in our yard so we thought we would try making jam before we move out of this house.  The jam turned out good.  We like it.  (Notice the variety of jars we used.  Here in South Africa the people use any jars you buy food in from the store; mayo, peanut butter, etc. All you need to do is make sure the jars and lids are hot and the food is boiling. Fill the jars; screw on the lids and you're all done.)

Thursday, November 5, 2009


It is appalling to me the amount of empty, silly, foolishness that characterizes the western world and no where is this drivel so prevalent than on blogs, sites, and other means of communications. Our culture as a whole worships at the altar of entertainment and sacrifices to the god of humor. But what is even more shocking is the nonsense that is regurgitated by those who name the Name of Christ.

My mind turns to Titus 2:6 where young men are exhorted to be sober-minded. When we see an individual with red eyes, slurred speech, and a staggering gate we clearly understand what it means to be drunk and what it means to be sober. But it seems that when it comes to entertainment somehow the word “sober” is confusing and difficult to understand. Christians have become intoxicated with frivolity and lightness, and think nothing of it.

It seems we have joined those of “Higher Criticism” and thrown out the Word of God. Truth is no longer relevant but relative. A very elementary perusal of the New Testament reveals eleven passages where we find the injunction to be “SOBER”. (I Thessalonians 5:6, 8; I Timothy 3:2, 11; Titus 1:8; 2:2, 4, 6; I Peter 1:13, 4:7, 5:8) What are we to do with these commands? Are we going to foolishly fritter away our lives feasting on the swill of those who are spiritually famished? On what do you feed your soul? (Isaiah 55:1-3) Let me share the words of a song by E.A. Hoffman which echo the longings of my soul.

Lord, I am fondly, earnestly longing
Into Thy holy likeness to grow;
Thirsting for more and deeper communion,
Yearning Thy love more fully to know.

Dead to the world would I be, O Father!
Dead unto sin, alive unto Thee;
Crucify all the earthly within me,
Emptied of sin and self may I be.

I would be Thine, and serve Thee forever,
Filled with Thy Spirit, lost in Thy love;
Come to my heart, Lord, come with anointing,
Showers of grace send down from above.


Open the wells of grace and salvation,
Pour the rich streams deep into my heart;
Cleanse and refine my tho’t and affection,
Seal me and make me pure as Thou art.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


Since we will be moving during these next few weeks you probably won't hear much from us.  But when we connect again I plan to show you some pictures of our "new" place.  Phil and Amrie flew out yesterday for the States. With their leaving those of us that stay behind will have a few extra responsibilities added to our to-do lists. Pray for us over the next few, very full months.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Micah's Birthday

Thursday night we had a little birthday celebration for Micah and I.  (The get-together also doubled as a going away for Phil and Amrie since they will be in the States for the next four months.)  We invited all the missionaries who work with us and also Fanie and Rose Blignaut and their family. 

Gwen was very creative with Micah's cake. I thought the giraffe turned out pretty good.

This morning we went to a local coffee shop for a birthday breakfast.  There are toys and also playground equipment for the children. The boys really enjoyed our time there.

Here is Africa's version of a rocking horse.  A rocking elephant, of course!

I'm an uncle

I don't know if you have the problem of feeling younger than you are, but sometimes I suffer from the ailment.  Sometimes when I see young people I still feel like I am one of their peers. But as I found out yesterday, which happened to be my birthday, I am no longer a youth. Here in South Africa among the Afrikaans people if someone is ten years old or older than you they should be addressed as Uncle or Aunt. Yesterday as I was in a place of business a young man walked past me.  As he did he greeted me with "Hello Uncle". 

My birthday is on October 30th and Micah's in on the 31st.  So we got our picture together today.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A full life

The past month has been a bit hectic with visitors, traveling, special business meetings, a funeral, lots of sickness, a new dog in the family, and even looking for a different house to live in.  Now it looks like the next month is promising to be just as full.  Mainly due to the rising housing costs here in town and the devaluation of the dollar we have been considering moving out of town where rent is less.  Well, it looks like we have found a house.  The rent is less than 1/4 of what we pay now so that will be a great help financially.  So in the next few weeks we will be busy packing, moving, and unpacking.  On top of that it is spring and it is actually getting a little late to plant a garden so we have to hurry.  As soon as possible we plan to get things planted out at the house in the country.  We have tried to get ahead us much as possible by planting seeds in pots and containers, so the vegetables will get a head start.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


On Tuesday the 13th Gwekn and I drove to Johanesburg to pick up Mr. and Mrs. Howard at the airport. Mr. Howard is Hope International Missions Regional Director for the African Region.  The Howards have been very busy since being here. I believe they have had a total of 12 meetings in 7 days.  We thank the Lord for His help during this time.  One evening the Howards took our family out to eat.  We certainly enjoyed our time with them. 

On Sunday Bro. Howard preach a very good message at the Manyatseng church.  He spoke about how strong families make strong churches and strong churches influence the nation. 

This last picture is of the missionary team we work with here in South Africa.  From Right to Left: Glenn and Stephanie Gault, Pieter and Hester Marais, Johan and Hessie van der Merwe, Philip and Amrie Geise, Steve and Gwen Geise, and our Regional Director Jim and Freddie Howard. We are thankful for the great group of people we have to work with.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Another Funeral

On Saturday Gwen and I went to the funeral of one of the girls from our church.  In most funerals even though the person that died may have been a Christian unsaved family members do many things that are not Christian.  The pictures below are from a funeral earlier this year, but the practices are basically the same at all funerals.

Here you can see men lowering a cow skin to be placed over the casket of the deceased.  The Basothos have a lot of beliefs and practices that center around ancestor worship. Many of these practices can be seen especially around the time of a funeral. The cow skin "tradition" comes from the time when animal skins were the only clothes that were worn.  When someone dies the Basothos believe that the spirit of the deceased will be cold and will come back to haunt the family unless a skin is placed over the casket.  Thus the cow skin over the casket - to give warmth to the spirit.

One custom is for close family members to throw dirt down on the coffin before the grave is filled in.  It too is closely tied together with ancestor worship, though many people today simply do it as a tradition. It was originally intended help keep the spirit of the deceased from coming back to haunt the family. Family member file past the one holding the shovel full of dirt.  Each one takes a handful and throws it into the grave.

Also as you can see in the two pictures below after the grave is covered and the soil is mounded up some form of container is placed on top of the grave as a way of providing water to the deceased spirit.

The reason I included the picture below is so you can see the vast amount of fresh graves in one of many cemeteries here in the Ladybrand area. Many of these graves are more than likely from AIDS related deaths.

Thursday, October 15, 2009


Here are a few things Micah has said in the past few months:

One morning Isaac got hurt and Micah said: "You'll tell the tale". (He wanted to say "You'll live to tell the tale.")

One afternoon Micah said he wanted only mayo on his sandwich for lunch. Gwen said "that's boring" Micah replied with "Sorry, that's life"!

Sometimes we give the boys a little food to "hold them over" until we make a larger breakfast later in the morning.  One morning Micah said: "Daddy, will you start me up with some cereal?"

A while back Micah was sitting looking at a magazine.  Apparently he couldn't remember if he was turning the pages backward or forward. He said: "Dad, now I'm confused. I don't know which way I can go."

Friday, October 9, 2009

Nigel and Forgiveness

Well, our new puppy has given us the opportunity to practice forgiveness.  During his first night with us he was missing his mommy and all his brothers and sisters so he put up quite a fuss.  Around 3 am Gwen and I heard the loud honking of a car horn. We wondered what the purpose of that was at that time of the morning. We didn't have to wait long until we found out.  Right after the horn stopped honking our doorbell began ringing incessantly. I quickly unplugged the bell so as not to awaken everyone in the house and then I saw through the window that there was a man at our gate who was obviously very agitated.  When I opened the door he began a tirade about how my dog was keeping him awake and how I was cruel (apparently he thought I was mistreating the dog).  His mostly one-sided conversation was punctuated with obscene language and even a threat to me personally. 

Well, obviously I was a bit shocked as that was my first experience of being the recipient of such curses, especially at three in the morning. I quietly shut the door and brought the puppy in near our bedroom where the rest of the night I tried to get a little rest between the times of keeping the dog quiet.

The next day (Sunday) on our way home from church I saw our neighbor was out in his yard, so I went to ask his forgiveness for keeping him awake in the night.  Immediately he apologized for his language.  I understand the man is a rather rough man, but I'm thankful for the opportunity to show God's love and forgiveness to him.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Anniversary "Time Away" Four Months Late

Our tenth wedding anniversary was back in June but a lot was happening during that time so we really didn't do anything special. This past week though we were able to schedule some time away, so the boys stayed with Uncle Philip and Aunt Amrie and Gwen and I went to Bloemfontein. I surprised Gwen by taking her to the Free State Botanical Gardens. That's where we got the pictures of the clivia miniata (above).

We stayed at a little Bed & Breakfast for one night. It wasn't high class but it was comfortable and relaxing.

Sitting at the little table above was a nice place to read the Bible and enjoy the cool morning air from the backyard of the B&B.  Below you can see our little breakfast corner. The food was first class.  We couldn't eat everything our host provided.  We had a nice time and we are thankful God has given us ten years together.


Our boys have been wanting a puppy for a long time, so
when we found some labs for sale we decided it was
time to get a dog. It seems that his handle will be "Nigel".
One of the meanings for the name is "Dark Night", and
since he is black we thought it would be appropriate.
I've been struggling to remember what his name is
let alone call him by one that is so high-class.
Isaac suggested we call him "Snicklefritz".

Thursday, October 1, 2009


It has been cloudy for the past three days and we have been anticipating some precipitation. In a place where rain comes infrequently I find myself longing for wet days.  Last night during the night we finally got a little rain. Though it wasn't much at least the ground is wet, the leaves are greener and the air has a delicious, fresh, rainy smell.  Thank God for the RAIN!

I feel sorry for those who dislike rainy days.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Picnic and Mud

Our lives continue with the weekly Bible studies, preaching, visiting, correspondence and the long list of normal responsibilities. We look forward to a visit from our Regional Director, Mr. Jim Howard and his wife in a couple of weeks. We also hope to do some special outreach here in our community in the near future. Once in a while though, we plan a special day to get away and relax a bit. Last week we planned to spend one day with Fanie and Rose Blignaut and their family. What was to be a nice, relaxing picnic turned into a lot of hard work when the land cruiser got stuck in mud. To make matter worse we were a couple of miles away from anyone and it was also a holiday. In spite of the unexpected we did have a nice time and made some memories!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Wild Fire

These are the charred remains of the wildfires that swept through this area last week. Thousands of acres of mountainside and grassland burned over a period of about three days. We could see the flames on the mountains that surround Ladybrand. Smoke was really bad for about two days. Every year this happens during the winter, but this fire was the worst I have personally seen.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


Yes, that's right, here in South Africa, September 1st is the official first day of Spring. While we certainly welcome the return of warmer temperatures to the southern hemisphere many trees are decked out in their spring best ready to celebrate new life. With the coming of Spring, other less welcome aspects of life make their annual reappearance, like allergies, mosquitoes and the like. But in spite of such annoyances we are thankful that the cold is gone...until next year.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


Here's the picture that's worth a thousand words.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Bull Fight

I forgot to tell you that a little over a week ago when we were out on the farm I had a little encounter with a young bull. A gate was left open and this frisky fellow got out. I was walking down to the corral when this young bull started coming my way. Unfortunately my two oldest boys and some other children were with me. So while I waited for them to get inside the fence the bull started challenging me. Just as the last child was inside the gate they closed it behind me. The bull, thankfully a young one without horns, knocked me over, pushing the gate open in the process and landed on top of me. He was struggling to get up and I was doing the same. In the mean time he dragged me over against a thorn tree and gave me a few painful souvenirs on my arm. Thankfully the tangle didn't last long and besides the hurt arm I didn't sustain any other wounds. My back, chest, and legs were quite sore, though, for several days as I am not in the practice of bull fighting, especially with the bull on top. We thank God for the protection He gives. Sorry, I don't have any pictures of the fight.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

New Post

I know you wonder what happened to us and you're tired of seeing the same post every time you get on our blog so I thought I would post something new. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but in the absence of a new picture I guess it will have to be a thousand words. :-) Actually there have been a number of happenings lately but they're not picture worthy. Some circumstances have to do with our church people and the joys, frustrations, and sorrow that go with ministry. At the same time I continue to teach through the book A Theology of Christian Counseling by Jay E. Adams, and I have also begun a new class teaching through Philip Brown's book, Loving God. I am excited about this new class as it provides an opportunity to minister to more people and to help them get established in their relationship with God. There are between 15 and 18 people that have been invited to attend this class. The first week there were 14 in attendance. Last week we had 6 come. We'll see what happens as the weeks go on. One goal of this class is to have more individuals better equipped to use in the church and for building the Kingdom of God. Keep us in your prayers.

Monday, July 27, 2009


Recently our family was invited to join some friends at a private park for a few hours of rest and recreation. While there we enjoyed petting and taking pictures of a very tame meerkat.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

God's Breath (Job 33:4)

I would like to share the words of a song with you that should be every Christian's prayer. In the verse I listed above Job says that God had given him life. He was probably referring to physical life, but we know that God is also the source of our spiritual life. In the Word of God we find all the answers we need for life (physical) and Godly living (spiritual) II Peter 1:3.
Breath on me, breath of God,
Fill me with life anew,
That I may love what Thou dost love,
And do what Thou wouldst do.
Breath on me, breath of God,
Until my heart is pure,
Until with Thee I will one will,
To do and to endure.
Breath on me, breath of God,
Till I am wholly Thine,
Till all this earthly part of me
Glows with Thy fire divine.
Breathe on me, breath of God,
So shall I never die,
But live with Thee the perfect life
Of Thine eternity.
-Edwin Hatch, 1835-1889
Many who are reared in religious circles, grow up in a lifestyle, but have no reality. But there is nothing more REAL than a relationship with God. I trust all who read this will know that reality!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The Bumps

We took the Bumps to the airport in Johannesburg last Friday, July 3rd. It is hard to believe that six months have come and gone so quickly. They have been great neighbors. They have been a huge blessing in the school, church, mission, and community. We will certainly miss them.


On June 29th the Bumps and our family loaded up into our Avanza and headed north. Our destination? Well...a variety of places. We stayed at a guest house right across the river from Kruger National Park. We actually only went into the park one day because of the price, but from the guest house we were able to see several different animals. Other destinations during our holiday included the Indian Ocean from the shores of Mozambique and a short drive through Swaziland. The mountains above are in Swaziland. The photo below is of the Indian Ocean in Mozambique. Below that are a few pictures of some of the animals in Kruger. We enjoyed our holiday, but we had to come home to rest. Out of the six days we were away I drove most of five days. I figure I drove nearly 40 hours last week. I, for one, was very happy to get back home.

Saturday, June 27, 2009


This morning was the funeral for Bro. Tankiso. The service was held in a local community hall. Rev. Tsikane Pheko, the national chairman for our churches in Lesotho, preached the funeral message. He did a great job connecting and communicating with the people. This is Rev. Pheko.
And this is little Tshepo, Bro. Tankiso's only son. On the front of his shirt is a picture of his Daddy. Please pray for Bro. Tankiso's wife and this little boy. Only God knows what the future holds for Tshepo.
And lastly here is a picture of the food we were served. It was delicious. We ate beef, carrot salad, and red beets among other things. It was all very good.

Thank you to all who were praying for us. The day went smoothly and God helped me as I spoke a few minutes at the funeral. We pray that hearts were touched through the messages that were given.